Pat Duquette, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, America East Tournament Preview

CBB Review prepares you for every conference tournament leading up to Selection Sunday. Up next: The America East Tournament.

Will it be Vermont again? The Catamounts have won the America East Tournament three times since 2017 and have been the 1 seed every year since 2017. They’re also as hot as any mid-major team in the country, but they might get tested against UMass-Lowell.


2023 America East Conference Awards

Player of the Year: Clarence Daniels, New Hampshire

Freshman of the Year: Jonathan Beagle, UAlbany

Transfer of the Year: Sherif Gross-Bullock, Bryant

Coach of the Year: Pat Duquette, UMass-Lowell

First Team:

  • G: Kellen Tynes, Maine (14.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 3.3 SPG)
  • G: Everette Hammond, UMass-Lowell (13.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 43.9 3P%)
  • G: Sherif Gross-Bullock, Bryant (17.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 40.1 3P%)
  • F: Clarence Daniels, New Hampshire (15.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 39.7 3P%)
  • F: Abdoul Karim Coulibably, UMass-Lowell (11.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 1.0 BPG, 57.3 FG%)

Second Team:

  • G: Finn Sullivan, Vermont (12.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.1 SPG)
  • G: Nick Johnson, New Hampshire (12.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 39.3 3P%)
  • G: Charles Pride, Bryant (14.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.3 SPG)
  • G: Earl Timberlake, Bryant (13.6 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.8 APG)
  • G: Robin Duncan, Vermont (8.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 52.5 FG%)

America East Tournament Simulation

Quarterfinals – Saturday, Mar. 4

3. New Hampshire (14-14, 9-7) vs. 6. Bryant (17-12, 8-8) – 1 p.m. on ESPN+

It really confuses me how Bryant fell off so much. When it gets down to it, the Bulldogs score 80 points per game and are 13th in the country in rebounds per game. That should usually translate to more wins, especially in a mid-major conference. But New Hampshire is good at limiting opposing teams’ scoring. The downside of the Wildcats? They likely won’t be able to keep up with the scoring pace.

Mat’s pick: 6. Bryant

4. UMBC (18-13, 8-8) vs. 5. Binghamton (12-17, 8-8) – 1 p.m. on ESPN+

Binghamton has lost four straight games, including their last regular season contest, an overtime loss to UMBC. The Bearcats lost to the Retrievers twice this season. I think it’ll be a close game, but ultimately, Binghamton’s late-season struggles are too hard to ignore.

Mat’s pick: 4. UMBC

2. UMass-Lowell (24-7, 11-5) vs. 7. Maine (13-16, 7-9) – 4 p.m. on ESPN+

Pat Duquette has coached UMass-Lowell tremendously this season, and you can credit transfer Abdoul Karim Coulibaly for a lot of it. He’s given them a big man with experience at higher DI colleges. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the River Hawks march on.

Mat’s pick: 2. UMass-Lowell

1. Vermont (20-10, 14-2) vs. 8. NJIT (7-22, 4-12) – 7 p.m. on ESPN+

Like Kansas is to the Big 12, Vermont is to the America East. The Catamounts just can’t help from getting the one seed in the America East Tournament, and also can’t help losing. 12 straight W’s doesn’t stop against 7-22 NJIT.

Mat’s pick: 1. Vermont

Semifinals – Tuesday, Mar. 7

1. Vermont vs. 6. Bryant – TBA on ESPN+

The America East Tournament re-seeds teams after the first round, and I think that gives Bryant the upper hand here. Vermont may have won both regular season contests, and have also picked it up on offense to end the season, but I just can’t ignore what Bryant might be able to do defensively. With no true go-to guy on offense, the Bulldogs could have an easier time of shutting down the Catamounts. Call me crazy, but I like Bryant.

Mat’s pick: 6. Bryant

2. UMass-Lowell vs. 4. UMBC – TBA on ESPN+

These teams played each other close during the regular season, but UMass-Lowell came away with both games. Let’s also not forget that this game would be played AT UMass-Lowell, who is a perfect 14-0 at home.

Mat’s pick: 2. UMass-Lowell

Championship – Saturday, Mar. 11

2. UMass-Lowell vs. 6. Bryant – 11 a.m. on ESPN2

This game would also be played at UMass-Lowell, which automatically gives them the upper hand. But again, the question is – can their offense keep up with Bryant? I actually think so. The River Hawks have topped 80 points in five of their last seven games. That’s enough proof for me.

Mat’s pick: 2. UMass-Lowell

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